A certain type of middle-aged man might have an elaborate electric train setup in his basement, or perhaps a really complicated year-round Christmas light display in his front yard.
But this is unique: Microsoft employee Salvator Patuel has built a life-sized replica of a 737 commercial jet cockpit in his home, and uses it to play Flight Simulator X (or FSX).
He explains to Microsoft’s Channel 9 developer site that he started the project because his wife doesn’t like him flying (he has a pilot’s licence). So, “I said to her ‘Ok, but can I develop my flight simulator in my studio?’, she obviously answered yes, thinking that I was going to buy some kind of joystick and a bigger monitor.”
He built some of the parts himself and ordered others from hobbyist sites, and wired it up to be as realistic as possible — all the controls work, and the cockpit “window” is a monitor showing the game.
Here’s a 10-minute video tour of the whole thing. You’ll need a recent version of Microsoft’s Silverlight plug-in to view it.